Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Days 6 & 7

I've left the second half of our holiday blog till now, due mainly to lack of time but also as something nice to think and write about during the winter.

Day 6  Leaving Shardlow early morning we took the opportunity to fill with water, we're pretty careful with water usage but like most boaters don't like to miss the chance of filling, with no other boats around it was ideal. The day again was full of sun, quite warm to begin with although as the day wore on it got colder, we passed a CR&T guy walking the path logging boat details, very re-assuring to see.  Stenson lock was soon in sight, and I steered into this, making my request to Martin 'please be gentle with the paddles'.  Just a little to early for refreshments at the Bubble Inn instead we timed it just right arriving at Willington at lunch time.  When we left making our way towards Branston Water park the clouds got darker and darker, we were now also held up by a boat in front with lots of crew and much running around, I never like to see this and we decided to hang back and let them sort themselves out, we had a cup of tea and some cake whilst we waited for them to clear the lock, luckily for us they pulled over before Bridge 34, curtains pulled and not sign of anyone as we passed.  Our day ended   above Barton Turns lock, plenty of wide grass bank and a handy pub for dinner, where we were made very welcome and enjoyed our huge dinner.

Day 7  Earlyish mornings appear to be a trend on this holiday, but we are both used to them in our day life, we planned to motor on a bit and stop for breakfast at a suitable spot, that turned out to be Alrewas and probably a mistake, we were having our breakfast when a boat departed from behind us, no problem we thought, they'll be clear of the lock before we get there, plus the lock now has some really useful stays to keep the bottom gates closed, complete with operating instructions. Over half  an hour later we made our way to the lock, me walking and Martin steering, I found that there were two boats waiting below the lock, nothing coming down, one a share boat and the other the boat that had set off whilst we were having breakfast.  It was a very, very slow trip to Fradley Junction, with boats stacking up behind the two in front, I went forward at each lock to try and move things along which I think worked but the lady on the boat in front would do everything but work the locks, talking to anyone and everyone instead.  I know boating is not a race and we certainly take things at a slower pace taking it in turns to work the locks or steer the boat, but this was so slow, minus tick over is almost going backwards.  It did however give me the chance to photograph my first kingfisher, not too clear but you can make it out, we've seen so many on this holiday.
Kingfisher near Fradley Junction
Our day finished at the Samual Barlow pub, Alvecote, just short of Polesworth our day 9 mooring last time we did this route.

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